Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Homemade Creamed Corn

Despite having a pantry filled with canned creamed corn (courtesy of the tall green guy), I decided to take it upon myself to attempt a homemade version.  I'm a big fan of corn, especially the creamed variety.  Ahhh.  Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.  Creamed corn IS comfort food to me, pretty much on the same level as bowl of mashed potatoes (yes, a bowl, don't judge.)  I get a warm fuzzy feeling whenever I eat the stuff, and given the chilly temperature today, I needed the warmth!

Don't get me wrong the canned variety is enjoyed by one and all in this house and will continue to be a go-to quick side dish.  However, today presented itself with some 'found' time, so there you have it, void filled.  Truth be told this is actually a very simple dish to make (not as easy as the can opener approach I'm used to, but hey it's a close second.) so I still have extra time to spare.  I guess I'll put my feet up for a little bit.  I love afternoons like this.
 
I feel like I should issue a small disclaimer before you read the recipe below...so here it goes.  Do Not be turned off by the use of low-fat milk instead of heavy cream.  I promise this in no way comprises the richness or creaminess of the dish.  Instead this is achieved through a pureed mixture and a little cornstarch.  On the plus...a little sugar and cheese lends some great flavour to this grain.  You can feel less guilty about going back for seconds, even thirds.  I'm not here to judge.  Just to make you happy.  Did it work?

Comfort has been achieved (at least in my books.)  Enjoy!


 

Homemade Creamed Corn

 
Ingredients:
3 cups fresh corn kernels, divided
3/4 cup low-fat milk
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
white pepper to taste

Method:
Place 2 cups corn, milk, cornstarch and sugar in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth.
Transfer the puree to a medium saucepan, and add the remaining 1 cup corn. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture simmers and thickens and the corn is tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in shaved Parmesan and white pepper.  Serve hot.

Yields: 4 servings
adapted from eating well

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Cookies 4 Two | Oatmeal Raisin

It's a gloomy Tuesday in the city and I have the desire to bake cookies.  However, my willpower this week seems to be a little on the wavering side.  The last thing I need now, would be dozens upon dozens of cookies lingering about.  Solution?  A recipe that yields 4 cookies.  You read it right, 4 cookies!  Now this is manageable.  A cookie for each member of the family.  Perfect.

Not too worry, I didn't forget about Charlie (our yellow lab who is 6 going on puppy) he is currently scarfing down a handful of Milkbones.  After last nights episode, where he pulled a Houdini and disappeared, I feel the need to spoil him a little today.  (Okay, so he didn't so much disappear, more like the gate was left open and he ran out)  I think it was the best 45 minutes of his life, I can only imagine the trouble he got himself into.  I on the other hand, aged 3 years with worry.  Queue the hair dye and wrinkle cream. 

Welcome to a no-longer-gloomy-Tuesday.  Enjoy the cookies, especially since there are only a few...



Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 4 Two (or Four)

Ingredients:
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp old fashioned oats
1/8 tsp baking soda
pinch of cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp egg, beaten
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp raisins

Method:
Preheat oven to 350F
Cream together butter and sugars.  Add the tablespoon of beaten egg and vanilla and mix until combined.  Add the flour, oats, baking soda and cinnamon, and mix until just combined.  Stir in the raisins.
Roll dough into four cookie balls and place them on a lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet (flatten a little)
Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Allow to cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack.

Enjoy w/ a glass of milk!


Recipe adapted from bakergirl

Monday, 29 August 2011

Seafood Lunch & Riding Pants

A couple Friday's back, I enjoyed a girls day with my mom & sister.  This doesn't happen as often as it should, since our schedules tend to conflict with one another.  But the stars aligned, and as such, we decided to do lunch on a patio, followed by some shopping.

It's more of a recent thing, when I go to restaurants, to order seafood.  I've developed an appreciation for all kinds and enjoy getting ideas for recipes that I can bring home, tackle and improve upon.  So when I saw the 'seared peach & seafood salad' I was immediately drawn in.  Although, the idea was fabulous, the execution of this dish needed work.  The scallops were small and a little rubbery, the prawns were more like slightly bigger shrimp, and there was only a sprinkling of salmon in this dish. And for a peach salad, there wasn't many peaches to be found.   The dish did come with a piece of buttery, garlic toast...which I devoured.  Why is it, garlic bread always tastes better at restaurants?  Hmm, it must be the low calorie butter they use? 

After soaking up some rays and filling our stomachs, we ended the day with some 'retail therapy.'  I found some killer deals on summer clearance items, and a really cute pair of riding pants for fall.  To which J asked, 'do you have a horse?  Why do you need riding pants?'  My response.  'Because they are adorable and I love them.'   Boys just don't understand.

Perfect Friday!


 

Seared Peach Salad w/ Scallops & Mango Chili Dressing

 
Ingredients:
salad:
8 cups spring mix greens
4 peaches, quartered and sliced
16-20 scallops, patted dry
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced 
olive oil
salt & pepper 
dressing:
1 mango, peeled & chopped
2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
1/2 cup apple juice
 
Method:
Using a food processor, puree mango.  Add chili sauce and apple juice.  Blend further.  Refrigerate.
Preheat BBQ to medium.  Place peaches on grill and sear for 5 minutes, turning at least once.
Heat olive oil in large non-stick pan over medium high heat.  Add scallops, season both sides with S&P.  Cook 2-3 minutes per side, until desired internal temperature is reached.
Divide greens, red onion, peaches and scallops among four plates.  Drizzle dressing over.  Serve.
 
Yields: 4 Servings
Delicious! My new favourite salad.  Perfect for summer.  Light. Refreshing. 
Mmmm.

I'm in love with these...bring on fall!  My closet & I are ready!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Pancake Project Week 5 | Carrot Cake

Another Sunday, another pancake recipe.


Since I've begun this cooking journey, I've become a pancake connoisseur...or at least that's how I like to think of myself.  Maybe a pancake snob is a more accurate term?  I use to be satisfied with any pancake, at any restaurant (including McDonald's, which from my days of working there, I can tell you, are frozen and microwaved.)  Unfortunately, I'm no longer as easily impressed.  This hasn't deterred me from continuing to order them whenever we are out @ breakfast.  I like that they come to you the size of dinner plates, in multiple quantities and for some reason I don't feel bad about eating the entire stack.  But if it's quality I'm after, then I opt to make them myself.

So, this weeks feature is...CARROT CAKE!


Bugs Bunny would be all over these pancakes.  He'd have to fight me for them first.  (This now brings to mind a visual of Bugs and I, both with giant boxing gloves on, duelling it out in an animated ring, while other WB characters watch on.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, I came out victorious!)



After the success of the banana bread + pancake combo.  It dawned on me that carrot cake would make an equally delicious pancake.  Shredded carrots, plump raisins, chopped pecans and coconut, make this one exciting pancake.  My day has officially begun! 
These pancakes are pretty filling, but, if you are up to it, leave the bottle of maple syrup in the fridge and make a cream cheese glaze.  Mmm.  Best part about filling pancakes...Monday Leftovers!  Now this is how the work week should start!

Well, off to the farmers market I go, I need to replenish my carrot supply.
That's all folks!  Happy Pancake Sunday!


Carrot Cake Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 - 1 cup milk (depending on moisture in carrots)
1 1/2 cup carrot, grated
1/4 cup pecans, toasted & chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 shredded coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ginger


Method:
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, raisins, coconut, pecans, salt and spices.
In separate bowl, whisk together milk and eggs.  Add in grated carrot.  Stir.  Add to dry ingredients until just moistened.
Spoon batter in 1/3 cup portions onto lightly oiled griddle or pan (spread batter out a little).  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbles form on top and underside is golden.  Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Keep pancakes warm in oven while repeating with remaining batter.
Serve warm with maple syrup or cream cheese glaze (see below.)  Top with additional coconut & pecans if desired.
Yields: 8 pancakes


Cream Cheese Glaze:
Ingredients:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla


Method: 
Whisk together all ingredients.  Pour on top of pancakes.  Sprinkle with coconut and pecans.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Crab Cakes w/ Sriracha 'Aioli'


If you've made yourself at all familiar with this blog, you are aware of my healthy (or somewhat un-healthy) obsession with pancakes.  Aside from pancakes, I have another favourite cake....crab cakes! (At this point you may find yourself asking 'does she like any regular cakes, you know the chocolate or vanilla variety?'  The answer is of course, YES!)  But...,with crispy, golden bread crumbs and jumbo lump crab meat, how can you not fall over yourself at the sight of these. 
Aside from being delicious, and ever changing, depending on which restaurant you go to, crab cakes also remind me of San Francisco.  Otherwise known as my favourite American city.  J and I have visited twice and currently have our third trip booked for years end.  I love going down to Fisherman's Wharf (or anywhere in the city for that matter) to enjoy a couple 'cakes' accompanied by a nice glass of white wine.  Ahhh, life on vacation!
Tonight, I made them with red peppers, garlic and jalapenos, served with a spicy yogurt sauce.  Mmm...super good.  Mini vacation @ my very own kitchen table.

Scorecard:
J - 1; Crab Cakes - 0.

Recap:
OMG - it's been less than ten minutes, I'm 4 crab cakes in (OK, 4.5 - the kids needed help finishing theirs), wanting more.  "Wait!  What do you mean there isn't any left?  How can that be?"  Que the single tear streaming down my cheek (call me dramatic.)  Pass the Kleenex please.

Enjoy.  (I know I did!)


Crab Cakes w/ Sriracha 'Aioli'


Ingredients:
1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
1 cup Panko bread crumbs, divided
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped finely
1 sweet red pepper, chopped finely
2 green onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp crab seasoning (Watkins)
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp mayonnaise, divided
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce

Method:
Preheat oven to 425F.  Line baking sheet with tinfoil.
In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add green onion, red pepper and jalapeno and cook until peppers soften, approximately 3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Set aside to cool slightly.
In large mixing bowl combine pepper-onion mixture with crab, egg, 1/2 cup Panko, crab seasoning and 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise.
Put remaining 1/2 cup Panko on a plate.  Form crab mixture into 8 cakes and gently roll each in the breadcrumbs.  Place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake until crab cakes are golden brown on the bottom, 10 minutes.  Gently turn them over and cook for an additional 10 minutes.  In the meantime, in a small bowl combine yogurt with remaining 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and hot sauce.

To serve, top each crab cake with 1/2 teaspoon of sauce.
Yields: 4 servings

Happy Eating!
LOVE, JS
Recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Black Beans & Rice

I bought black beans with the complete intent of using them to make healthy brownies (well, healthier brownies.)  However, this week has already seen it's share of sweets, so that idea has been scratched and will be attempted at a later date. 
Now I'm left with a can of beans without a purpose.  Poor thing.  Looks like they will become dinner instead.  Hmmm, from chocolatey goodness, to dinner.  I wonder how the beans feel about that?  What a silly question, beans don't have feelings.  A better question is how do I feel about this? 
In all honesty I love beans, so I'll survive.  Tonight, I'm throwing them in with some brown rice, corn, onions and spices and calling it an easy supper.  I love dishes like this.  All of my scraps from the week get thrown into one dish.  No waste and easy to prepare!  Especially, since I'm feeling unmotivated and sticky hot at this moment.   Perhaps a beer & ice cream float  is in order!  Yes, ice cream makes everything better...so does beer!


Black Beans & Rice

Ingredients:
3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked & rinsed in cold water
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, low-sodium
1 can (540 ml) no-salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 tsp cumin
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped

Method:
In saucepan bring rice and chicken stock to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until tender.  Fluff with fork.
While rice is cooking, add olive oil to non-stick skillet and cook onions till tender.  Approximately 5 minutes.  Add in garlic and spices, cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add in corn and beans, and heat till warmed through 2-3 minutes.
Combine cooked rice and bean mixture in large bowl.  Garnish with fresh chives. 

Serve & Enjoy!
Yields: 2 servings + leftovers (main dish) or 4 servings + leftovers (side dish)

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Sugar Cookies

Sugar, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah...oh, sugar cookies....nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah...


Ahem...,decorating sugar cookies brings to mind three things:

1) The song above...is it stuck in your head yet?  It's in mine.
2) My youth (which like summer, i'm holding on to...with both hands, tightly)
3) Christmas

Hmmm, lets recap...I'm no longer a kid, it isn't December and I haven't been listening to the 'oldies on the radio.  So, why the desire to bake and decorate sugar cookies in August?  Easy.  A cookie play date.  What better way to occupy kids for an hour, than letting them get their hands sticky while making a tasty treat.
I let my two kidlets each pick out a couple cookie shapes for themselves and our guests.  L - being a typical boy, was all about T-Rex and airplanes.  Whereas R - was a complete girly-girl, opting for butterflies and flowers.  Throw in a little icing (or a lot of icing) smarties, gummi bears, coconut and sprinkles and you've got yourself a mid-morning sugar coma.  (okay, mid-afternoon...the responsible parent in me made sure the kids got lunch first.  Medal awarded!)
Thanks for the play date V, B & L!




Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour 

Method:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper set aside.
In a large bowl (or kitchenaid artisan mixer), cream butter and sugar with electric mixer.  Beat in egg and vanilla.
In separate bowl combine baking powder and flour.  Add one cup at a time to butter mixture, mixing after each addition. 
Divide dough in 2 portions.
On a floured surface, roll each portion to 1/4" thickness.  Dip cookie cutter in flour before use.  Cut out shapes. 
Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes depending on size, until cookies are lightly browned.
Allow cookies to cool completely before decorating with frosting and candies. 
Makes 20-24 average sized cookies. 

waiting to be covered in sugar, sugar & more sugar....
The Set-Up
Future Picasso?
Plated & Ready to Eat.

A Kitchen Date

I'm holding on tight to summer.  With both hands.  I can't believe we are already at the end of August and back to school is officially two weeks away.  I'm going to miss having the little man at home with me all day.  So I was looking forward to spending some quality time together, just the two of us.  L loves baking as much as me so today he was my apprentice in the kitchen.  We made one of our favorite muffins.  Lemon Ricotta!  Yum.  Lemons always remind me of summer,  so this was the perfect muffin recipe this week.
The addition of L in the kitchen usually means flour and sugar scattered about, but I always say a messy cook is a good cook.  He's bound to be a chef, if this saying holds true!


Lemon Ricotta Muffins


Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp lemon zest, finely grated
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
sugar for sprinkling

Method:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Line muffin tin with 12 liners and set aside.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.  Using a mixer, beat sugar, butter and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Beat in cheese.  Beat in egg and lemon juice.  Add the dry ingredients and stir until just blended.
Divide batter among the prepared muffin cups.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake until muffins become pale golden, approximately 20 minutes.

ENJOY
LOVE J & L

Monday, 22 August 2011

Peach & Brie Quesadillas


When I think quesadillas, a few things come to mind; guacamole, sour cream, salsa;  all things delicious.

This recipe however, utilizes none of the above.  
What? 
Fairly certain the reason I order a quesadillas at restaurants is for all the wonderful sides that accompany the cheesy, spicy filled tortillas. 


Instead, this recipe replaces the onions, chicken and peppers you would normally find sandwiched between two grilled tortillas, with sweet peaches and creamy brie cheese.  I have to say, if you are going to deprive me of having mashed up avocados at least you've replaced it with a dish that is good enough on it's own it needs very little help in the condiment department.

summer quesadillas await!



Peach & Brie Quesadillas

Ingredients:

Sauce
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp zest of lime

Quesadillas
2 large peaches; peeled, ripe and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1 tsp brown sugar
3 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
4 (8 inch) flour tortillas
chive strips (optional)

Method:
To prepare sauce, combine all ingredients, whisk; set aside.
To prepare quesadillas, combine peaches, chives and sugar, tossing gently to coat.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Arrange 1/4 of cheese and 1/4 peach mixture over half of each tortilla; fold tortillas in half.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Cook 2 minutes per side, or until tortillas are lightly browned and crisp.  Remove from pan; keep warm.  Repeat procedure with remaining quesadillas.  Cut each quesadilla into 3 wedges; serve with sauce.  Garnish with chive strips, if desired.

recipe courtesy of cookinglight

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Pancake Project Week 4 | Banana Oat

Week 4, seriously?  Time is flying by, how do I make it stop?  This was initially intended as one month project, however, I'm enjoying myself a little too much at the moment to stop now.  I still have a number of recipes that are screaming to be shared, so lets continue.  Back in my school days, this would be known as an 'extension.'  More time needed to adequately complete an assignment (usually to the relief of everyone in class)  This is my gift to you...pancake extension granted.  Get your recipe cards ready, the ones I have planned for the next little while are worth noting!

This weeks pancake of choice is of a banana oat variety.  I had some wonderfully brown bananas aging, not so gracefully, on my counter.  Their fate has been sealed in pancake heaven, buried in maple syrup and pecans.  There are worse ways to go...
If you enjoy banana bread & pancakes on their own, then this is the breakfast for you.  Of course in our house, these two items are staples, so combining the two is reminiscent of the whole 'two birds one stone scenario....'
Sunday Breakfast = Success.




Banana Oat Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
3 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
maple syrup and pecans for serving.

Method:
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, chopped pecans, baking powder and salt.
In separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, banana and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients until just moistened.  Let sit 10 minutes.
Spoon batter in 1/3 cup portions onto lightly oiled griddle or pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until bubbles form on top and underside is golden.  Flip and cook for 1 minute.
Keep pancakes warm in oven while repeating with remaining batter.
Serve warm with maple syrup and top with pecans.
Enjoy!
LOVE, JS 
Yields: 10 pancakes

inspired by Canadian Living.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

{DeVine Pasta} | Sausage & Grape Penne

It seems like over the past couple weeks I've been buying more than my fair share of red grapes.  They are right up there with blueberries as one of my favourite fruits (both in fermented and non-fermented form.)  As such, I'm now on the hunt for ways to incorporate them into my meals.   Although, right now I just want them on a plate accompanied with some cheese, crackers and a glass (or two) of wine.  That doesn't exactly scream balanced meal for the family, so here is the next best thing.  A pasta dish with grapes and sausage.  It's like someone is speaking directly to my heart.  Okay, maybe that's a little far fetched, sometimes I embellish...  However, you really can't go wrong with this combination.  It is the perfect pasta dish for the summer.  Killer!  Seriously, go out and buy grapes, make this dish, then send me a thank-you card.

Happy Saturday Night! 




Sausage & Grape Pasta

Ingredients:
2 chicken sausages (Spolumbo's sun-dried tomato)
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups seedless red grapes
1/2 cup no-salt added chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cups dry Rigatoni
1/4 cup Parmesan, shaved
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp pine nuts


Method:
Bring large pot of water to a boil.
Preheat BBQ to medium.  Cook sausage on grill turning frequently, approximately 15 minutes.  Remove from grill and cut into 1/2-inch slices.
In large skillet add olive oil on medium heat.  Cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally until soft, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add grapes, broth, wine and red pepper flakes; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until grapes soften (or burst) and liquid thickens, about 10 minutes.  Turn off heat. 
Add pasta to boiling water and cook as directed.  Drain and add to skillet with sausage, turn heat to high.  Cook, stirring, until sausage is hot and pasta is coated with sauce, 1 minute.  Divide among 4 bowls.  Top with Parmesan, basil and pine nuts.
Enjoy!
LOVE, JS
adapted from self.com

Friday, 19 August 2011

Goat Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomato & Roasted Garlic Souffles

TGIF.  I've decided tonight's dinner is going to be fancier than the standard pizza or stirfry's that are usually reserved for our weekend kick-start.   Here it is....a souffle!  Sounds intimidating.  I've never attempted a souffle before, but there is no time like the present.  I have to admit the sound of roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese easily persuaded me to give it a shot.  Now, if only I could be so easily persuaded to clean my closet, deal with the spider webs that have taken over my deck and wash my kitchen cupboards.  Nah...it's the weekend.  Time to kick back, relax and enjoy life!


Goat Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomato & Roasted Garlic Souffles

Ingredients:
6 large garlic cloves, flattened
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
nonstick vegetable oil spray
4 Tbsp plain dry breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, in oil, drained
2 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
4 large egg yolks
1 cup mild fresh goat cheese, crumbled
6 large egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tarter

Method:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine garlic and oil in small custard cup. Cover with foil. Bake until garlic is very tender, about 35 minutes. Cool slightly. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper to custard cup and mash to paste. Maintain oven temperature.
Spray four 2-cup souffle dishes with nonstick spray. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs, coating bottom and sides; place dishes on baking sheet. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly until mixture boils, thickens, and is smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, thyme, and garlic mixture. Remove souffle base from heat.
Whisk egg yolks in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot souffle base, then
fold in goat cheese. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another large bowl until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into souffle mixture in 4 additions. Divide among prepared dishes.
Bake souffles until puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately. 

Yields: 4 servings
recipe courtesy bon appetit

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Asparagus w/ Poached Egg & Parmesan

Some recipes are just so simple, and yet, they have the ability to produce fantastic results.  Case in point, this dish.
Minimal ingredients.  Quick-and-easy preparation.  A perfect candidate for today's lunch.

Eggs are delicious, a great source of protein and not only reserved for breakfast.  My favourite way to eat them is poached.  I love breaking them open and having the yolk devour whatever it is they are on top of.  Toast, hash or asparagus.  Yes, asparagus.
Perfect lunch.  Serve with a side of toast.  Yum!

 

Asparagus w/ Poached Egg

Ingredients:
12 stalks of asparagus, trimmed
2 eggs
2 Tbsp Parmesan shaved
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

Method:
Steam asparagus until tender, between 3-5 minutes
Fill a large saucepan with 4 inches of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium.  When water is barely simmering, break 1 egg into a small heatproof bowl.  Gently tip bowl, sliding egg carefully into water.  Repeat with remaining egg.  Cook until whites are set but yolks are soft, 2-3 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to paper towel and drain briefly.
Divide asparagus among 2 plates, and top each with an egg.  Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with Parmesan, and season with salt & pepper.
Enjoy!














recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart Living

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Butterscotch-Apple Scones


Who said scones were only a weekend treat?  Not this girl.
I need an afternoon pick-me-up.  I think I'll make some scones.  (truth be told I don't need a 'pick me up' but it's a good excuse to get my baking on)  Being in the kitchen puts a smile on my face, and having a delicious scone afterwards sets me over the edge with glee.
Ever since I made the dark chocolate orange scones last month, I've been dying to try out different flavour combinations.  However, I recognize the importance and need to pace myself.   I figure enough time has lapsed to warrant a new recipe, so here it goes...
I have some apples in the fridge and a half eaten bag of butterscotch chips in the pantry (don't ask where half the bag went...that's not what's important here).  Done.  Scones await!

Pick me up was a success (again, not needed), scones were delicious.  I really just want scones for dinner...


 

Butterscotch Apple Scones 

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
6 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 apple, diced
3/4 cup butterscotch chips

milk & sugar to top


Method:
Preheat oven to 375.  Line baking sheets with silpat mat or parchment paper.  Set aside.
In large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Cut in butter.
In separate bowl combine buttermilk and egg.  Add to dry ingredients.  Stir to combine.  Fold in apple and butterscotch chips.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead 5-10 times.
Pat out to form a circle 1 1/4-inch thick, cut into 8 equal segments.
Transfer to prepared baking sheets, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden in color.

Yields: 8

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Beer & Ice Cream Float


Tuesday Boozeday.  
What better way to cool off from this summer heat, than with an ice cold beer and some premium vanilla ice cream.  Did I just speak to your heart?  You bet I did.

Pure Genius!  I've taken two of mans (or Mr. Handsomes) favourite things, and combined them in a tall frosted glass.  Who needs Root Beer, we've got actual beer available.

Enjoy!  There are still a number of weeks left before fall.  Pretty sure this is going to be on the menu until the weather tells me otherwise.  Even then, it still may be...


Beer Float

Ingredients:

1 bottle beer
1 scoop vanilla ice cream

Method:

Pour beer into tall chilled glass.  Add in ice cream.  Mmmm.
Note: overflow may happen, be ready to drink up! 

Ahhh, now that's refreshing!
I love summer!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Almond Butter, Banana & Oatmeal Smoothie



Oatmeal & I are well acquainted with one another.  I should buy stock at this point.  
Here is another way to get your 'Quaker Oats' on.
You're Welcome.



Almond Butter, Banana & Oatmeal Smoothie

Ingredients:
1/4 cup uncooked oats
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 banana
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 - 1 1/2 cups almond milk (chocolate, vanilla or unsweetened)
ice

Method:
In small bowl combine oats and water, cook in microwave for 90 seconds.  Chill in fridge.
Using a blender or food processor combine chilled cooked oats and remainder of ingredients, except ice.  Blend until smooth.
Add ice (3-5 cubes) blend further.

Serve.  Enjoy

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Pancake Project Week 3 | Vanilla Dutch Baby

Going Dutch Baby....

If you're like me, you cook your pancakes on the stove top. 

This week I decided to do something a little different.  Puffed pancakes cooked in the oven.  Otherwise know as dutch baby pancakes.
I was short on time this morning, I'm headed to the mountains with a couple girlfriends for some hiking and lunching.  I still wanted pancakes, but didn't want to hover over the stove flipping flapjacks.  This is a perfect alternative.  I can get ready while its baking, have hot pancakes, what a fabulous Sunday.

Now off to conquer a mountain (or a small hill...)

Happy Pancake Sunday!



Vanilla Dutch Baby

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk, heated 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 tsp vanilla

confectioners' sugar and lemon juice for serving

Method:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the butter in a large saute pan and place in the oven to melt.
Meanwhile, combine the eggs and milk and whisk until the mixture is light yellow and no longer stringy, about 1 minute. Add the flour, sugar and vanilla, and whisk vigorously to remove the lumps, about 30 seconds.
Carefully, remove the hot pan from the oven. The butter should be melted. Swirl the butter around the pan to coat completely, and then pour the remaining butter into the batter and whisk to blend. Pour the batter into the hot pan and return the pan to the oven. Cook the pancake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pancake is puffed in the center, and golden brown along the edges.
Using a spatula, remove the entire Dutch baby from the pan and place on a cooling rack for a few minutes to allow the steam to escape without condensing along the bottom and rendering the pancake soggy. Slice the pancake into wedges on a serving platter or cutting board and sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Enjoy!
Serve with maple syrup, fruit, yogurt, pretty much anything.  These pancakes are delicious, easily one of my favourites!

(courtesy of Melissa d' Arabian)

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Saturday BBQ | Chicken, Brie & Apple Sandwich

Another hot day in the city.  Time to fire up the grill, get the cold drinks ready and tackle this beautiful summer night with a delicious dinner and full stomach.

Since falling in love with the blueberries and brie in last weeks salad, I decided to apply the same concept in sandwich form.  The result a sandwich that was sweet, tart, and creamy.  Thanks to jam, apples and cheese.  Ahhh, it's a thing of beauty.  I love a good sandwich!  Now off to dip my feet in the kiddy pool, sip on a bevvy and enjoy this night.


Chicken, Brie & Apple Sandwich

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp blueberry jam
2 whole wheat buns, toasted
1/2 granny smith apple, sliced
6 - 1/4" slices, brie cheese (w/ rind intact)
1/2 cup baby spinach
3-4 Tbsp blueberry jam

Method:
Mix olive oil and 1 Tbsp blueberry jam.  Top raw chicken breasts with this mixture.  Marinate at least 30 minutes.
Preheat BBQ.
Over low heat, grill chicken.  Cook approximately 9 minutes per side, or until desired internal temperature is reached.  Remove from heat.  Place buns on grill, cut side down and toast.

To assemble:
Evenly divide ingredients among 2 buns. Placing in the following order, starting on bottom half of toasted bun.  Spinach, apple, brie and chicken.  Spread jam on top half of bun.  Close sandwich and cut in half.

Serve w/ a side of homemade thick-cut (or store bought) fries.
Enjoy!!

Yields: 2 sandwiches
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